Residents ‘fed up’ with recent railroad bridge closure

SEAFORD, Del – “It’s very important that they be able to if they want to travel down the Nanticoke that they be able to get in and out of that marina so it’s critical,” said Blades Town Administrator Vikki Prettyman.

Prettyman along with other residents who regularly use the Nanticoke River are demanding answers and seeking action after the Nanticoke Railroad Bridge broke down again on Labor Day leaving dozens of boaters stranded.

“It’s been broken two or three times this season which has put a lot of people off and not very happy to not be able to enjoy the river up and back,” said boater Greg Figgs.

When closed, the 128 year-old bridge creates a barrier in the Nanticoke River connecting the railroad tracks from one side in Seaford to the other in Blades in order for trains to cross,  but preventing boats from entering the marina.  And boaters tell us fixing it doesn’t happen overnight.

“A lot of work goes into repairing of the bridge so because the parts have to be made and manufactured that’s where the time comes then it takes a little bit of time to do that,” said Prettyman.

Officials say repairs can take weeks sometimes months before its back up and running again, and Prettyman says plenty of people are complaining.

“Boat slip owners and people who use the marina regularly of course I’ve had a couple email complaints and a couple phone calls come in,” said Prettyman.

Now residents are fed up, and are hoping officials with the Delmarva Central Railroad who are responsible for the upkeep of the bridge can find a permanent solution to solve this ongoing issue.

“It takes a lot of money to maintenance it and we just need to get those maintenance and those repairs done we just have to work with the railroad company to make sure they get that done,” said Prettyman.

As of now, the railroad bridge is open and functioning normally. We spoke with an official who works for the Delmarva Central Railroad company who didn’t want to go on camera, but told us that they are planning to start construction on the bridge soon to try and keep the unexpected closures from happening again.

Categories: Delaware, Local News